Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hoplandia Bottleshop and Taphouse Now Open in St. Johns

Hoplandia: More beer for St. Johns!
It was my pleasure to drop in on the newest Portland taproom, Hoplandia, for their opening on Wednesday. Hoplandia is located in the St. Johns neighborhood at 8600 N. Ivanhoe Street. It's on the ground floor corner of that brand new building--you know the one I'm talking about--the one that now sits like a sentinel at the entrance of the beautiful St. Johns Bridge. (St. Johns Bridge is my favorite span of the Willamette. What an awesome bridge!)

Hoplandia is the vision of owners Bruce and Alana McClain. They've certainly put in a great deal of hard work and effort to make their publican dreams come true; and they had more than a few delays and setbacks, which shouldn't be surprising to anyone who has ever gotten a new business off the ground. What nice people and they've created the kind of friendly, inviting environment that will keep me coming back. (I already went back today!)

I was also glad to see Phil Beers behind the bar, manning the taps. Phil was one of the first craft beer people I ever met at a Portland bottle share event. (Ha, an "event" back then consisted on five guys hunkered around a rainy picnic table in front of a closed brewpub.) Phil's craft beer knowledge is unparalleled, so I expect Hoplandia will always have an eclectic and sophisticated selection of beer on tap and in the cold case.

I counted eight beers, two ciders and five wines on tap. A big screen displays the selections behind the bar. Russian River Supplication, pFriem Lager, Barley Brown's Pallet Jack and Boneyard RPM were among the superstar brews on tap when I was there on Wednesday.

There are two beautiful HD TV screens mounted on the wall. Perfect for watching sports. I could see all the football action without my glasses on today, and that's impressive! There are seats at the coppertop bar and a number of tall tables and stools in the center of the clean, open space. A few low tables on the perimeter. One wall contains the cold case, where I found a small but exceptional selection of rarities. I left with a bottle of Block 15 Brewing's Super Nebula. Nice!

No food is served at Hoplandia, but they don't mind if you bring in something from one of the surrounding restaurants. There's a Burgerville right across the street. Mmmmm, Burgerville...

I'm having a serious case of neighborhood taproom envy, St. Johns. If I could, I'd steal Hoplandia from you and install it in my own Alberta Street 'hood. Great place and I look forward to stopping in whenever I'm in St. Johns.

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